The Pros and Cons of Nuclear Energy
What is it?
Nuclear energy is the energy in the nucleus, or core, of an atom. Atoms are tiny units that make up all matter in the universe. Energy is what holds the nucleus together. There is a huge amount of power in an atoms dense nucleus. As of today, nuclear energy is considered very environmentally friendly.
What's so great about it?
Nuclear energy is reliable, causes low pollution, and is cheap electricity! It also has low operating costs, as well as it's more proficient than fossil fuels. It produces fewer greenhouse gasses while producing energy compared to coal power plants.
What's the catch?
The cons are significant. Nuclear energy is unfortunately not a renewable source. The nuclear fuel that is used to produce nuclear energy, Uranium, is limited and cannot be produced again and again. Although it is environmentally friendly, disposal of radioactive waste and protecting people from its radiations is a big con. It is very expensive to protect everyone from the waste, which makes the operating cost seems not so great. There was also an accident in Japan with nuclear energy. It left a few casualties and serious environmental concerns.
A nuclear power plant creates 20 metric tons of nuclear fuel per year, and with that comes a lot of nuclear waste. When you think of each nuclear plant on Earth, you will find that that number jumps to approximately 2,000 metric tons a year. Uranium is very important to nuclear energy. It is estimated that with the current rate of consumption of uranium, we have enough uranium for another 70-80 years. Worldwide, many nuclear accidents have occurred since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Two thirds of these mishaps occurred in the United States.
What's my opinion?
My opinion is that nuclear energy is bad. It seems like a good idea with the low cost of making it, but with the high cost of keeping people safe it just doesn't seem worth it. I believe that there are other options besides nuclear energy.